The impact of a sanitary toilet
Imagine if you had no privacy while using the toilet. For Rojina Khatun and her family, this was a daily struggle.
In Northern Bangladesh, Rojina and her family of five used a hanging toilet close to their home. A hanging toilet often consists of makeshift materials such as cloth or bamboo and is built over water. The toilet was completely open and without any privacy, Rojina and her family members did not feel comfortable or safe using it. In addition, hanging toilets contaminate the water below and increase the risk of disease. However, as low-income earners, Rojina’s family could not afford to build a new toilet.
Rojina’s neighbour, Selina, who is part of a water and sanitation committee that Habitat for Humanity has organised in Northern Bangladesh, informed Rojina of a low-interest micro-loan that they could use to build a new toilet.
Although her husband was initially hesitant to take up the loan, Selina and the committee convinced him about the importance of clean water and safe hygiene and sanitation practices in the community. Improved access to safe water and sanitation facilities along with enhanced knowledge around hygiene practices means healthier, stronger communities that can sustain themselves.
With the support of the Australian Aid program through the Civil Society WASH Fund and our local partners in Bangladesh, Rojina and her family were able to build themselves a new toilet in February this year. In addition, she received further training on safe hygiene practices which she was able to pass on to the rest of her family.
“Earlier, there was a lot of dirt at our toilet and the flies were everywhere – we had to defecate by covering our noses,” said Rojina’s son, Shoukot. “I am very happy now, because our family has a sanitary toilet, which will reduce waterborne diseases in my family. The support of Habitat for Humanity to construct a toilet is a good opportunity for the poor families like us who don’t have the ability to do this on our own.”
With your support, we have been able to impact Rojina’s family and many others in Northern Bangladesh.
This postcard was originally published on the Habitat for Humanity Australia website.